Defense and automotive group Rheinmetall has won another major order for logistic vehicles. Germany's Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support has entered a framework contract with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) for delivery of up to 4,000 swap body systems, many of which will feature armored driver’s cabs. Running from 2021 to 2027, the framework contract represents around €2 billion in total sales volume for Rheinmetall.
In the first stage, the Group will supply the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, with an initial tranche of 540 vehicles, worth around €348 million including VAT. Of these 540 vehicles, 230 will be protected. Delivery will start early next year in order to make sure that the Bundeswehr has an adequate number of vehicles in 2023 when Germany takes command of the spearhead of NATO's Response Force: the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, or VJTF.
The protected swap body systems enhance the survivability and sustainability of the Logistics Corps, as well as strengthen its tactical flexibility. Unlike the Unprotected Transport Vehicle (UTF), which is also manufactured and supplied by RMMV, these systems will be predominately deployed in forward operating areas, where, for instance, they will be used for supplying ammunition to frontline combat units, e.g. artillery batteries.
Assuring excellent off-road mobility, RMMV’s robust, all-terrain-capable HX 8x8 vehicles can be optionally fitted with a protected cab. Standard features include a hook loader developed by the Hiab company, which can quickly lift and set down the accompanying flat racks. In addition, the vehicles can accommodate an interchangeable platform or a container via the standardized 20-foot ISO interfaces. Identical operator interfaces and a high degree of commonality and component uniformity with the UTF vehicle family facilitate training, operations and logistics. Owing to the significant reduction in training time for crewmembers and maintenance personnel as well as the extensive commonality of spare parts and special tools, full utilization can be achieved faster – coupled with greater economic efficiency for the procurement authorities and user alike.
This new order widens Rheinmetall’s lead as one of the world’s foremost makers of logistic systems and vehicles. Since the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment awarded the 7-year UTF framework contract in July 2017, 1,250 out of a total of 2,271 vehicles have been supplied.